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Assam former CM Sarbananda Sonowal leaves for New Delhi; cabinet reshuffle sooner than expected?

GUWAHATI: Former Assam chief minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, has left for New Delhi this morning from Guwahati to meet the national leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of speculations regarding the expansion of Modi’s Union Cabinet.

Sonowal’s visit has signaled that the cabinet reshuffle might take place sooner than it was expected.

A highly placed source of InsideNE had informed earlier that Sonowal might get the portfolio of Petroleum Minister replacing Dharmendra Pradhan.

Reportedly, PM Modi is aiming to fill 26 vacant seats in his cabinet and undoubtedly Sonowal, who has completed a comparatively clean term in Assam as CM and under his CM’ship BJP became the first non-Congress party to receive two consecutive terms and formed government in the state, is one of the top choices to be given an important portfolio.

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Since Sonowal has vacated the CM post for Himanta Biswa Sarma, speculation of him getting an important post with the Centre has been doing around the surface.

Sonowal served as the Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of India, from 2014 to 2016. He was chosen to be the Chief Minister of Assam after the 2016 Assam Legislative Assembly election and he was the first Chief Minister of the state from Bharatiya Janata Party.

The former AASU leader has flown to Delhi in the recent past, possibly to hold discussions with central BJP leaders for his upcoming role.

According to reports, PM Modi is will rejig his cabinet to send out a political signal by correcting regional representation with an eye on upcoming polls.

The prime minister can have an 81 member council, while currently there are 53 ministers in PM Modi’s cabinet. several of his leaders hold more than one ministry due to the exit of Shiv Sena, Shiromani Akali Dal, and the demise of Jan Lokshakti Party’s Ramvilas Paswan.

Modi will seek to introduce greater efficiency by reducing the burden on several ministers who hold multiple portfolios.

Another name that has been doing rounds for a while now is former Congressman and now BJP Rajya Sabha MP Jyotiraditya Scindia.

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